Law professor’s dedication rewarded with national honour

A Swansea University academic has been recognised for his dedication to teaching and inspiring the next generation of lawyers.

Professor Richard Owen, of the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, is one of 54 new National Teaching Fellows announced by Advance HE today. 

Richard OwenThe National Teaching Fellowship Scheme along with the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence showcase the outstanding impact of individuals and teams who teach or support learning in UK higher education, recognising their success and providing a platform to share the learning from their practice.

‌Professor Owen, who is Director of the award-winning Swansea Law Clinic which offers free advice to the public, said he was delighted to have been honoured for doing something that he loved.

“I am grateful to Swansea University for the opportunity it has given me to develop my teaching practice through the Clinic.   We have been teaching law students using real-life clients and analysing how the law works in action,” he said.  

“A particular highlight was when two of my undergraduate students gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly on access to justice issues based on their experiences in the Clinic, but we have also looked at how the law is a powerful force in people's lives in situations as diverse as the local family court to death row in Texas."  

Professor Elwen Evans QC, Head of theHillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, said: “This recognition by Advance HE endorses what we in the Law School have long known: that Professor Owen is a committed, approachable and enthusiastic teacher. He has a truly impressive ability to inspire students through his passion for clinical legal education, encouraging the fusion of practical, high-level skills with the study of law.

“I have no doubt that I speak for all my colleagues in the Law School in offering my warmest congratulations to Richard for this extremely well-deserved accolade.”

Professor Owen, along with the other newly appointed Fellows and the 15 teams who won a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence will now work with Advance HE to develop ways of sharing their best practice across the sector.

Alison Johns, Advance HE’s chief executive, said: “Becoming a National Teaching Fellow or winning CATE team is a huge achievement. It can be truly life-changing. Creating ambassadors for innovative and impactful teaching who are valued by institutions and colleagues, and who can set in motion change and enhancements to make a really positive impact on student experience and outcomes across their institution and beyond.”

Dr Ben Calvert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of South Wales and Chair of the 2019 Teaching Excellence Awards Advisory Panel, added: “These awards really are the pinnacle of reward and recognition in teaching and learning.”

Professor Owen will join the other winners at a special ceremony to be held in Manchester in October.